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How Extracurricular Activities Affect Students
Written by Jeff Kim | Published. 2019.12.24 14:23 | Count : 396

As a member of the varsity swim team and concertmaster of Chadwick International’s (CI) Grade 9-10 orchestra, I consider myself deeply immersed in a variety of extracurricular activities. The main reason that I participate in these sports and music programs is that I find them enjoyable. Being able to practice, hang out with my friends, and go to swim meets are only some of the great things that you can experience as a member of a sports club. I will never forget the moment when I first broke a swimming record for CI, and this has been one of my main motivations when it comes to this aquatic sport. I also regularly play the violin and love practicing it. By being part of the school orchestra, I am given a chance to play my favorite music along with my peers. However, a lot of people are becoming increasingly skeptical about the impact of extracurricular activities on students, thinking that extracurricular activities will put unneeded pressure on a growing child and detract from the overall quality of schoolwork. At first, I agreed with this point of view, albeit very slightly.

[Photo of the author playing
at the school graduation party:
Photo Courtesy of Judy Baek]

 As a student with an ever-growing amount of schoolwork to handle, it is all too easy to focus too much on my extracurricular activities and neglect my schoolwork due to the stress caused by the latter. It was easy for me to manage extracurriculars and schoolwork in younger grades, but once I entered US, there was many a time in which either a violin concert or a swim meet made it difficult for me to focus on school work. Needless to say, I was frustrated that I had so many things that I had to do all the time.

Soon, however, I realized that a lot of my friends were actually feeling the same way, which I found confusing. A lot of people in my grade were also part of a sports club, such as volleyball or basketball, and seemed to be fully involved in sports while still getting good grades. I then realized that I didn’t really feel stressed at all, and my school work was coming along great! Stumped, I asked my swim coach, Mr. Noah Randall, and the conductor of my orchestra, Ms. Sonya Yi, about how they think extracurricular activities affect students. Both answers were, remarkably, the same: by being part of an extracurricular group or activity, a student would be able to learn skills that they normally would not be able to learn through only the academic part of school, such as social skills that help people coordinate better in things like sports teams and orchestras. After some thought, I decided I could concur with Ms. Yi and Mr. Randall’s position. For example, it has been proven that extracurricular activities can increase the amount of brain function, which can help a student boost their grades! Also, students have stated that these activities helped them to learn essential life skills. As for I, I have learned to prioritize my problems and set realistic goals when it comes to things like swim records or violin techniques.

[Photo of the Chadwick International Swim Team: Photo Courtesy of Mark Ko]

I am still avidly trying to improve my swimming skills and get better at playing the violin - all while, keeping up with my studies. My subpar academic performance last year was mostly caused by a lack of effort rather than extracurricular activities. I would like to see many young students take up a sport or an instrument, because not only does it teach important life skills, but can also serve as a healthy and positive source of fun. Extracurricular activities do not have as many negatives when compared to positives, and will definitely be an overall useful impact in student’s lives.

Jeff Kim
Freshman (Grade 9)
Chadwick International

Jeff Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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